Plan your day out in Broxbourne

Whether you're into active leisure pursuits or simply love the great outdoors, the Lee Valley has plenty to offer. Located just a few miles from central London, it's an oasis of natural beauty in the heart of the city's commuter belt.

There's not much left of the 16th century mill, but you can feel the spirit of a thousand years of history in this magical place. The Broxbourne Old Mill is a popular attraction in the River Lee Country Park.

Find out more about Broxbourne Old Mill and Meadows

Take the train to Rye House station (just one stop from Broxbourne) and visit this moated masterpiece of medieval architecture, once part of one of the first brick-built houses in the country. Nearby Rye House Quay is a beautiful riverside spot for a picnic.

Find out more about Rye House Gatehouse

Hertfordshire's only National Nature Reserve (NNR), Broxbourne Woods Nature Reserve is a delightful mix of ancient woodland, varied wildlife and rich heritage. The four woods that make up the Reserve are all Sites of Scientific Special Interest (SSSIs).

Find out more about Broxbourne Woods Nature Reserve

Why not explore the River Lee Country Park by boat? Just a short walk from Broxbourne station, the Lee Valley Boat Centre has day boats for hire, as well as electric boats, rowing boats and pedalos which can be rented by the hour.

Lee Valley Boat Centre website

Built for the canoe slalom events in the London 2012 Olympics, this state-of-the-art watersports centre offers a range of activities, from white water rafting on the Olympic course to family paddling in the lake.

Find out more about Lee Valley White Water Centre

With 1,000 acres of meadows, lakes, marshes and reedbeds, River Lee Country Park is a wonderful place to get close to nature and see some amazing wildlife. The Park is criss-crossed by safe, traffic-free biking and walking trails, and there are lots of lovely open spaces for a picnic or fun and games with the kids.

Find out more about River Lee Country Park

Set in 30 acres of woodland, this award-winning attraction is home to 400 exotic wild animals, from monkeys to meerkats. The Paradise Wildlife Park the only place in the UK where you can see all five big cats: lions, jaguars, leopards, snow leopards and tigers. A courtesy shuttle bus takes you on the 5 minute drive from Broxbourne station to the park.

Paradise Wildlife Park website

There are several places in and around the Country Park where you can enjoy a drink and a snack. The Old Mill Retreat Café at the Broxbourne Old Mill and Meadows heritage site is a cosy establishment on the river towpath with lovely scenic views. Alternatively, there's its sister establishment, the Pavilion Cafe, located on the recreation ground near Broxbourne station. There are also two cafés at the Lee Valley White Water Centre (the Terrace and the Finish Line), both of which have views of the course.

There are a few eateries in Broxbourne town centre, including Indian and Chinese restaurants. However, when it comes to dining out, most visitors opt for one of the friendly pubs. The Crown is a traditional country inn that's full of charm and character and has the advantage of being located closely to Broxbourne railway station. Alternatively, there's the Rye House, just a few metres from Rye House station. Run by the Greene-King owned John Barras chain, it's a friendly hostelry with a riverside garden.

Although there are a few take-aways in Broxbourne town centre, the choice isn’t the widest, so it might be preferable to do a pack-up for your day out. If the weather's fine, having a picnic in the glorious surroundings of the River Lee Country Park is one of the pleasures of a visit to this renowned area of outstanding natural beauty.

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